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Palmerton rape suspect waives preliminary hearing

Published September 29. 2011 05:01PM

A Palmerton man accused of the alleged rape of a female has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Wayne Smith Jr., 24, of 832 Mauch Chunk Road, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.

Instead, Smith opted for a waiver, which means he will next go before the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas for a pretrial status conference at 9 a.m. Nov. 8.

Smith faces charges of rape by forcible compulsion, aggravated indecent assault, and indecent assault.

He has been recommitted to Carbon County Prison in lieu of $50,000, 10-percent bail.

As per the conditions of his bail, Smith is to have no contact with the alleged victim, upon release, must report to adult rehabilitation for pretrial services, take a mental health evaluation, and follow all recommendations.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Palmerton patrolman Robert Cohowicz:

At 11:24 p.m. on Sept. 10, Cohowicz was dispatched to 832 Mauch Chunk Road for an assault that occurred while a female was walking home from the Palmerton Community Festival in the borough park, the affidavit says.

Cohowicz responded and discovered a female, the victim, sitting on a toilet naked and crying hysterically, according to the affidavit.

The victim told Cohowicz that she was walking home from the festival, and ran into someone that she had met before but didn't know his name.

The victim described him as wearing jeans and a multicolored, horizontally-striped shirt who had dirty blonde hair and some facial hair.

The victim said the male forced himself on her on the railroad tracks just west of Tony's Pizza. She said that he was trying to kiss her, then proceded to assault her.

The victim was complaining of pain to her private areas. There were also apparent fresh marks on her body, and scrape marks on her back from the struggle.

The victim stated that she told him no, and attempted to push him away with her feet. She was transported to the Blue Mountain Health System Palmerton campus emergency room to be evaluated.

Cohowicz said he compiled a photo line-up of possible suspects. While at the hospital, he learned that the victim had contact with a male identified as Smith in the past. His photo was added to the other photos. The photos were shown to the victim at the hospital, and she immediately recognized Smith as the offender.

Cohowicz responded to Smith's residence, where he found him sitting on the front porch. Cohowicz asked if he would willingly come with him to the police department to speak about the incident, to which he came willingly. He had dirty blonde hair, was wearing jeans and retrieved a multicolored shirt from the living room that he stated he was wearing all day.

Once at the police station at 2:13 a.m., Cohowicz read Smith his Miranda warnings, which he waived.

During the interview, Smith admitted that he met the victim in the borough park. He asked her to walk with him and they ended up on the train tracks. He stated that she tried to hold his hand and he pushed her away. She did it again, and he decided to hold her hand. She kissed him, and he said that all he could think about was pulling her pants down.

While they were standing, he pulled up her shirt and bra. They both sat down. As soon as they sat down, Smith pushed her down onto the ground. He said that he tried pulling her pants down. She said no and tried pushing him off her with her feet, but he overpowered her.

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